For my write-up today on The Contender: Richard Nixon, The Congress Years, 1946-1952, I’ll use as my starting-point something that Irwin Gellman states on page 394.
“In late July 1950, Nixon attended the annual Midsummer Encampment at the Bohemian Grove, an extraordinary gathering of influential and powerful American males presided over by Herbert Hoover. Nixon was profusely grateful for the invitation: ‘It was one of those rare experiences of a lifetime, and clearly apart from any political consideration, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.’ He made many contacts, had a chance to meet potential backers, and attended a luncheon at which Ike was present.”
To hear a different opinion from Nixon about the Bohemian Grove, see here! And see here for wikipedia’s article on the group.
When I was growing up, I read books and articles that said that there was a conspiracy among elites to create a one-world government. I read Newswatch Magazine, Des Griffin, Phyllis Schlafly’s A Choice Not an Echo, Gary Allen’s None Dare Call It Conspiracy, John Birch Society publications, and other works. I can’t paint all of these works with the same brush, for they differed among each other: Schlafly, Allen, and the John Birch Society, for example, did not criticize Zionism. Moreover, Schlafly one time said in her Phyllis Schlafly Report that the influence of the kingmakers at the Republican National Convention ended with Ronald Reagan, whereas the John Birch Society and others have contended that globalists were actually influential in Reagan’s Administration. (At the same time, I should note that Schlafly herself was a critic of some of George W. Bush’s policies, believing that they undermined U.S. sovereignty.)
Nowadays, the Bohemian Grove comes up in conspiracy-theory circles as one of the elite groups that wants a one-world government, or new world order. Do I think that there’s something to that? Well, I don’t buy into how some conspiracy theorists have conceptualized the conspiracy. The John Birch Society and Phyllis Schlafly, for example, associated the conspiracy with liberalism and Communism (even though John McManus of the JBS wrote an anti-William F. Buckley book). But Gellman states on page 400 that conservative Republican Robert Taft attended the Bohemian Grove, and Schlafly lauds Taft throughout her A Choice Not An Echo! Moreover, while Nixon in Congress supported strengthening the United Nations, he had some views at the time that were at odds with how some conspiracy theorists have defined the beliefs of the conspiracy: Nixon disagreed with the United World Federalists’ support for world government, seeing that as unworkable (Gellman 271-272). And Nixon supported a proposal by Herbert Hoover (who presided over the Bohemian Grove) to “reorganize the United Nations without Russian participation” (Gellman’s words on page 300), since Nixon did not care for Russia “constantly exercising the veto power” (Nixon’s words). Nixon and Hoover apparently were not for a Communist one-world government!
I think that it’s a mistake to assume that the elites who gather at CFR meetings, Trilateral Commission meetings, Bilderberger meetings, or Bohemian Grove meetings all share the exact same ideology. Margaret Thatcher reportedly attended Bilderberger meetings, yet she stood for Great Britain’s sovereignty against European unification. Ronald Reagan had Trilateralists and CFR people in his cabinet, but he opposed the Law of the Sea treaty. I have a friend who likes to identify the CFR members who are liberals: does he realize, however, that John Bolton, who was a critic of the United Nations, was himself a member at one time of the Council on Foreign Relations?
At the same time, I don’t rule out that elites have interests, including the accumulation of power. Moreover, I doubt that it’s entirely a good thing when elites gather together in secrecy. I doubt that they’re all pushing some sinister agenda—-they may just want a forum where they can speak freely, without their words being jumped on by the press. But that does not mean that everything they’re doing is good, either. Plus, I think that there is a sense in which elites being around each other and supporting each other’s interests can detach them further from us non-elites, and the shroud of secrecy inhibits us from evaluating what they are doing, which is important in a democracy.